Home Entertainment Matt Reeves’ The Batman is not an origin story, will be “very psychological, very emotional”

Matt Reeves’ The Batman is not an origin story, will be “very psychological, very emotional”

4 min read

Once upon a time, Zack Snyder had a plan to build a DC Comics cinematic universe for Warner Bros. Unlike rivals Marvel, who basically became the gold standard for cinematic universes, Snyder and co were not going to introduce characters in solo movies and see them grow and eventually team-up. Instead, we would meet most of these characters already in (or past) their prime, and then subsequent standalone prequel movies would flesh out their backgrounds. And then the whole plan fell apart thanks to Justice League being terrible.

One place where Snyder’s plan had been made abundantly clear though was in how he introduced Ben Affleck’s Batman. The actor had his hair greyed up to look older than his actual 47 years, so that he could then play a younger version of himself in a standalone origin film which Affleck would write and direct as well. And then that whole plan fell apart as well. And now we have Matt Reeves’ The Batman which will see Robert Pattinson wearing the cape and cowl. We still have no official confirmation on just how Pattinson’s Batman will slot into the DCEU’s timeline (if he even will), but given that the actor is only 33-years old, and all the Zero Year vibes we’re getting from leaked set pics, it made sense that this would be the origin story that Snyder and Affleck never got to do.

Except it isn’t. Not really. That’s according to what Reeves told Nerdist in an interview this weekend past.

I wanted to do not an origin tale, but a tale that would still acknowledge his origins, in that it formed who he is. Like this guy, he’s majorly struggling, and this is how he’s trying to rise above that struggle. But that doesn’t mean that he even fully understands, you know. It’s that whole idea of the shadow self and what’s driving you, and how much of that you can incorporate, and how much of it you’re doing that you’re unaware of.

We really don’t need to see Bruce Wayne’s parents get gunned down again in an alley, so I hope Reeves takes the same approach Marvel did with Spider-Man and Uncle Ben’s death by just mentioning that tragic event and its effects, but not forcing us to sit through it for the umpteenth time. Reeves continued, explaining that he wants to delve a bit deeper into what makes Batman tick and how it relates to the real world.

There’s something in there that feels very psychological, very emotional, and it felt like there was a way of exploring that along with the corruption in this place, Gotham. That feels very current. I think it always does. There’s almost no time when you can’t do a story about corruption. But today, it still seems incredibly resonant and maybe, from my perspective, maybe more so than maybe at other time.

This approach Reeves is taking is, of course, nothing new for the filmmaker based on his superlative Planet of the Apes films. Even with CGI animals as his leads, he’s always looking for the “human” angle to his storytelling, and this is an approach he took with The Batman as well when selling his idea to Warner Bros.

I’m going to pitch the version of Batman that I would do, which is going to have a humanist bent. And who knows if they’ll have any interest? If they don’t, then I won’t do it. And that’ll be okay. I was really lucky that they said yes.

It’s not even like that’s an approach that I take, like it’s some kind of idea of, ‘Wouldn’t it be great?’ It’s sort of the only thing that allows me to understand how to do it. I can only understand where the camera goes and how to talk about the story, how to write the story, how to talk to the actors, if I understand emotionally what it is I have to do. Otherwise I’d be lost.

Some people are incredible choreographers and they know how to create an incredible visual dance, or all of that kind of stuff. And I love that kind of stuff. But at the end of the day, I have to understand it emotionally.

Firstly: No, we’re not making sparkly emo vampire jokes here because we’re not children and Pattinson has most certainly shown himself to be an incredibly capable and varied actor since his days in Twilight. Secondly: Batman has always been a character plagued by psychology, so this plays perfectly into Reeves’ approach. It also bolsters his previous claims that this would be a Batman that’s a lot more cerebral than former cinematic iterations, which has me the most excited of all. The Dark Knight Detective will finally rise on the big screen.

The Batman is currently scheduled for release on 25 June 2021.

Last Updated: April 14, 2020


  1. I’m kinda worried that it’s too soon for another Batman movie. They should really have waited a couple of years. But then again it is Hollywood we are talking about. Pump out as many movies about something that did well until they completely kill it. Although I am curios to see what Reeves and the sparkling vampire make of this (you might not be a child, but don’t overestimate the rest of us xD )

    Maybe they should have done a movie about Batman Beyond. Get an old ballie Bruce Wayne that teaches a new kid. Would at least have been something fresh.


    • The D

      April 14, 2020 at 13:00

      A-fucking-hem it’s never too soon for a new Batman movie.


      • MaSeKind

        April 14, 2020 at 13:05

        Lol, I would normally agree with you. Just afraid that if this fails nobody would want to fund another one. And even if it’s good, people might get tired of them and if it doesn’t make all the monies DC might scrap plans for more.


        • The D

          April 14, 2020 at 13:15

          I think DC’s got a more moderate thirst for greed lately. Doesn’t need to be a billion-dollar earner, but constant positive critical reception pays off in the long run for establishing a new flavour for their film universe.


          • MaSeKind

            April 14, 2020 at 13:20

            True, Batman Begins didn’t do that well, yet the sequels are some of the biggest grossing superhero movies of all times. Even the first movies in the MCU didn’t rake in billions. Let’s hope they don’t try and compare this Endgame

          • MaSeKind

            April 14, 2020 at 13:25

            Also speaking of the Dark Knight trilogy, I’m slighted disappointed they didn’t do something with Joseph Gordon-Levitt character. Could have been a good spinoff I think

          • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

            April 15, 2020 at 12:38

            Recently re-watched the TDK trilogy and it’s awesome. In hindsight Joseph Gordon-Levitt did really well, I wish there was more of that character.

          • MaSeKind

            April 15, 2020 at 13:00

            Yeah it’s a shame they couldn’t do more. I think part of the problem is the Robin character has always been seen as a bit of a joke. They could also have just made him Nightwing and skip Robin completely. I think he’s lesser known to the general public so that might have worked nicely to avoid any preconceived ideas of the character.

          • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

            April 15, 2020 at 13:12

            You’re right about the Robin stigma. But after watching it now after so many years, I had forgotten about the stigma and actually appreciated JGL’s performance and character. He was really good and maybe he could have brought some much-needed goodwill to the character.

          • MaSeKind

            April 15, 2020 at 13:35

            I actually liked the way Robin was portrayed in the Arkham games. So he can be pretty cool. I’m guessing they made him a bit more macho exactly to avoid the campy image he’s gotten over the years

          • Gr8_Balls_o_Fire

            April 15, 2020 at 13:41

            Yup, Arkham Robin was badass

  2. New Age Films

    April 14, 2020 at 14:20

    Another hollyweird deconstruction of a hero by turning an icon into a joke. I’ll pass.


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